Sep 30, 2016
The following communication was developed to help school and district Technology Coordinators prepare for and administer the 2016-2017 PARCC assessments. Monthly technology updates will include technology information, implementation resources, hot topics, and troubleshooting guidance. Previous Technology Bulletins are stored at http://parcc.pearson.com/bulletins/. The next communication is tentatively scheduled for October 19, 2016.
Important Update: iOS 10 and MacOS 10.12 Sierra Not Currently Supported
What is happening?
Apple recently released MacOS 10.12 Sierra and iOS 10 operating systems. These operating systems will not be supported for PARCC testing at this time due to a test security issue with a feature introduced in these versions.
What is the impact?
Thursday evening, September 29th, a temporary patch will be deployed to TestNav to deny access to secure (kiosk-mode) tests if the testing device is operating on either MacOS 10.12 Sierra or iOS 10. Additionally, the TestNav app on iPads will not be accessible, meaning that iPads already on iOS 10 will need to use the Safari browser to access PARCC Practice tests at https://parcc.pearson.com/practice-tests/.
What are next steps?
Pearson is working with Apple to resolve the test security issue and allow support for these operating systems in the future. Schools using Mac computers and iPads should not upgrade their devices to MacOS 10.12 Sierra or iOS 10 until Pearson confirms the issue is resolved and communicates that solution to the field.
If some of your devices have already been upgraded to either iOS 10 or MacOS 10.12 Sierra, please contact Apple Support for information on possible downgrade solutions.
Please note, the current supported versions of iOS and MacOS are:
- iOS 9.3.2 and newer versions of iOS 9
- MacOS 10.9, 10.10, and 10.11
Important Reminder: PearsonAccessnext and TestNav Version Updates
On August 12, 2016, the PearsonAccessnext Training Center and the non-secure Tutorials and Practice Tests received version updates to prepare for Fall testing. While no action is required to take advantage of the practice content, there are new application versions of TestNav and ProctorCache, which will be required for secure testing. Visit http://download.testnav.com to download the updated applications.
Please review the list of enhancements to each system shown below. To review more detailed information on technology changes for Fall 2016, a PARCC 2016 Fall Block Technology Crosswalk has been posted to Avocet.
- Student Enrollment limited to one Organization at a time
- Prepare Test Sessions
- Student Testing Tickets
- Email and phone numbers collected when users create Additional Orders
- Default file extension “CSV” for File Import/Export
- Removed “Update Cache” button on the Students in Sessions screen
- Practice Test and Tutorials available in Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge web browsers
- Blacklist applications (Coming soon)
- iOS TestNav app updates
- TI Graphing Calculator movement
- Drawing Interaction enhancements
- ChromeOS touchscreen support
- Windows touchscreen support on the TestNav Desktop App
- Answer Eliminator tool available on Hot-Spot Interactions
- Onscreen keyboard is not supported when using Windows or ChromeOS touchscreen devices. External or built-in keyboards are required.
Reminder: TestNav Apps for Spring 2017
The Spring 2017 PARCC Administration will likely require TestNav application updates in January 2017. This will include updates to the following apps:
- TestNav Desktop (Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux)
- TestNav Android App
- TestNav Chromebook App
- TestNav iPad App
Future Technology Bulletins will provide more details and estimated release dates.
Reminder: iOS TestNav App Updates (Automatic Assessment Configuration & Microphone)
An updated iOS TestNav app was released on August 5, 2016 and two important changes were introduced. Please review the Pearson Technical Bulletin (Upcoming Changes to Testing on iOS) regarding how the changes listed below will impact your school and the appropriate next steps.
- Apple introduced Automatic Assessment Configuration (AAC) with iOS 9.3.2, which affects the setup and sign-in processes for assessments that require kiosk mode. This new feature eliminates the need for Guided Access Mode or other administrative methods of locking down iPads. The TestNav app will now control when the testing device locks by prompting students during their sign-in process. The testing device will automatically unlock when the student either completes the test or logs out of TestNav.
- Pearson has added an “Enable Microphone Permission” prompt in the updated TestNav app for iOS, which appears when you start TestNav for the first time following the update. This is a one-time task, but is required. TestNav will persistently prompt users to enable permission to “use” the microphone prior to navigating to a Sign In page. Follow the on-screen directions to enable the microphone.
Note: The setup instructions for iPads have also been updated: https://support.assessment.pearson.com/x/OAccAQ
What resources are available?
Technical User Guides and Training Modules are the best sources for information:
- PARCC Resource Home Page: http://parcc.pearson.com/
- PARCC Manuals: http://avocet.pearson.com/PARCC/Home#news
- PARCC Web-based Training Modules: http://parcc.pearson.com/training-modules
- PARCC Technology Crosswalk: http://avocet.pearson.com/PARCC/Home - 14673
- PARCC TestNav Expected Behaviors: http://avocet.pearson.com/PARCC/Home#15087
What are the technical requirements and where are the setup instructions?
The TestNav 8 system requirements and the technology setup instructions are all available below:
- System Requirements: https://support.assessment.pearson.com/x/HwYcAQ
- Technology Setup: https://parcc.pearson.com/technology-setup/
PARCC Support Center
If you have questions regarding the administration of the PARCC assessments, please contact Pearson’s PARCC Customer Support Center: 1-888-493-9888 (open Monday through Friday, 5:30am to 6:30pm CST) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For state policy questions, please contact your state PARCC contact.